Page:Notes on the churches in the counties of Kent, Sussex, and Surrey.djvu/365

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303
NOTES TO SUSSEX.

272. Westmeston.—A church of chancel, nave, south aisle and chancel, north porch, and large bell-turret on the west end. The chancel is E.E.; the north wall of the nave and the chancel arch are Norm, or Tr. Norm.; the south aisle is Dec.; its chancel is closed, being a family burying-place; the font is Norm.; the chancel-arch is merely an opening as if broken through the wall. The east window is debased Perp.; the west twolight window, and the west door below it are Perp. The porch is ancient, but altered; the nave and aisle are covered by the same roof.

273. Wigginholt.—This parish is joined with Gretham in (Val. Eccl.)

274. Wilesham.—This place is described as in Baldeslei hundred, and apparently was in the neighbourhood of Hastings, or between that town and Battle. The manor was the property of the Earl of Eu; and among the possessions of the church of Battle it is stated, that the abbot held half a hide " in Pilesham, occupied by the Earl of Eu," which, it will scarcely be doubted, intended the same place as Wilesham. The manor, which had been retained by King Edward, is declared to contain fifteen hides of land: "Ibi xv hidæ sunt, que non geldant, neque geldaverunt." (D.B.) Afterwards we read, that "Ulward, the priest, holds the church of this manor," (which is no otherwise mentioned); "Ulwardus presbyter hujus mauerii tenet æcclesiam," (D.B.); with land, which did not belong to the fifteen hides; and that the value of Ulward's holding was five shillings. Wilesham, having been kept in his own hands by the Saxon king, and not taxed, was probably a place of some importance; and perhaps researches among family records referring to estates in that part of the county (supposing such to exist) may hereafter enable us to ascertain decisively by what modern name it is represented. A farm in the ancient, but long absorbed, parish of St. Leonard's, (which see) still bears the appellation of Filsham; and, in the absence of positive information, it appears a safe conjecture, that the names are identical. In that case there is evidence of the early existence of a church at St. Leonard's, though the original designation arising from the property where it stood was afterwards changed to that supplied by the dedication of the building. The park of the Earl of Eu is mentioned as including a portion of one of the manors, which are described in immediate connection with Wilesham.